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Department of Biological and Medical Sciences
Faculty of Health and Life Sciences
+44 (0)1865 483957
Director of Centre for Ecology, Environment and Conservation. MSc Conservation Ecology course leader.
My research is in the area of insect ecology and phylogeography, using butterflies as model organisms, with a firm commitment to contributing to the evidence base for conservation.
Leader of MSc Conservation Ecology and contributor to undergraduate teaching
P10201 Taxonomy and Identification
P10202 Ecology for Conservation
P10299 Research Project
P10107 Career Development and Research Skills
P10204 Biodiversity and Ecosytem Services
U15584 Environmental Change: Field-Work and Research
U15582 Field Course: Surveys and Licensing
2015- J.Middleton-Welling (full-time): Butterfly traits and phylogeography: the responses of evolutionary lineages to environmental change. 2015- S. Williams: (part-time): The biogeography and phylogeny of the spider genus Gasteracantha. In conjunction with the Hope Entomological collections, Oxford University Museum 2015 - J. Watkins: (part-time): Unintended consequences in conservation: How can predictive assessments of impacts from conservation projects , programmes and actions be made more comprehensive2014 - A. George (part-time): Assessment of aspects of the Steart Wetland habitat creation scheme. In collaboration with the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust and Bridgewater College
My research is within three linked themes:1.The roles of morphology and physiology in limiting species distributions at a range of scales:All species have definable geographic ranges and associations with particular physical and biological elements where they occur. If the reasons for these associations can be understood then efforts to conserve species and predict species occurrences become easier. Using butterflies as model organisms I focus on how morphology (colour, pattern, size and shape) and thermal requirements influences the range of microhabitats and microclimates that species use. I do this using innovative behavioural field studies combined with microclimate recording, body temperature measurements, and morphological analyses. This work is providing direct evidence why invertebrate species may not respond in the same way to environmental change as predicted by conventional climate change modelling; insects respond to much finer grained thermal environments than can be modelled with climate change scenario data. The work also has a very important, and recognised, message for conservation; providing appropriate environments for insects requires heterogeneity of structures to cater for their thermal requirements and their needs to avoid predators, find mates and lay eggs. 2. Determining faunal structures among European butterflies:With colleagues I have used existing distribution data sets (UKBMS and the European- Electronic Atlas of European Butterflies) to identify hotspots of diversity within Europe where conservation effort should be focused. Using butterflies as examples (primarily because of the quality of the existing data) we have identified species with similar responses to past climatic and landscape events, because these groups have unique distribution patterns and evolutionary dynamics. Recent work on the occurrence of species on the Tuscan, Sicilian and Aegean Islands has identified that within any particular location there is measurable species loss and recolonization over recent time scales and hidden biodiversity; revealed by mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) analysis. We have extended this work to the British Isles and have identified a diverse and somehat unexpected pattern of colonization. As with the Mediterranean island there are hidden patterns of biodiversity with some species comprising more than one evolutionary lineage. We are also identifying homogenisation of faunas with recent environmental change.
3. Linking species attributes to distributions and redefining what habits are:Current threats to a large proportion of the butterflies of Europe mean that species centred conservation programmes are unlikely to be effective for maintaining and enhancing the majority of them as there are insufficient resources and time to adopt such an approach. Instead, I and colleagues are identifying the basic ecological attributes that determine which species should predictably occur together and have similar responses to small and large-scale environmental change. This work was developed within the UK, partly with individuals from the NERC Centre for Ecology and Hydrology (CEH). Knowing species attributes also helps understand what resource sets species need to persist, which trait combinations make some species highly vulnerable to climate and landscape change and which combinations make species very successful in response to current changes. Knowing the key traits of species and their precise resource requirements will provide for evidence based management to maintian species and communities at the landscape and site scales.
Evolution, Ecology, Environment and Conservation
Invertebrate Ecology and Biogeography
Research has been funded by:
Legambiente Italia (Italian National Parks)
HEIF (Proof of Concept funding)
Insect Ecology and Conservation
Software tools for environmental monitoring
Fellow of the Royal Entomological Society
Member of the British Ecological Society
Memeber of NERC Industrial Case Awards Panel
I was engaged in a national programme (2012-16) run by Natural England to assess the quality of Sites of Special Scientific Interest using invertebrate species. This research based consultancy work was part of the periodic reviewing of the state of biodiversity in England
SHREEVE, T.G.2107. Participant in the sDiv workshop 'Separating Environmental Changes and their effects on Community traits in European butterflies'. german Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research (iDiv), Lepzig.(invited participant).SHREEVE, T.G. 2015. Butterflies as indicators of biodiversity change. Inaugural meeting of the Legambiente Italia (Italian National Parks) Tuscan Island conservation initiative. University of Turin. (invited keynote)SHREEVE, T.G., DAPPORTO, L. DENNIS, R.L.H. & DOVER, J. 2014. Applying the resource based concept to corridors and barriers in biodiversity conservation: mending the matrix 7th International Symposium of Butterfly Conservation, Reading, April 2014.SHREEVE, T.G. 2012: The Challenges of Introducing and Maintaining Taxonomy and Identification in undergraduate and MSc courses. The Linnean Society, London, (invited presentation)SHREEVE T.G. 2010 Landscapes and corridors for insect conservation. 6th International Symposium of Butterfly Conservation, Reading, April 2010 (invited)ALMAN, S., GIBBS, M., SHREEVE, T. & BREUKER, C. 2010. Oviposition behaviour in the speckled wood butterfly (Pararge aegeria, L.). 16th Annual European Meeting of PhD students in Evolutionary Biology, Wierzba, Poland,, 23-28 May 2010. SHREEVE T.G. 2009. Improving insect monitoring workshop presentation. South east region biological recorders workshop. April 2009 (invited)HARKER R. & SHREEVE. T G 2008 The decline and conservation of the wall brown butterfly Lasiommata megera. Butterfly Conservation one day workshop on the use of biological monitoring data, Birmingham, March 2008. (Invited) SHREEVE, T.G. 2007 Ecological classification, resources and butterfly occurrence. Invited presentation to 3 day East European Butterfly Conservation Workshop, University of South Bohemia, Czech Republic, May 2007 (invited).